The HillTube

Clinton: Putin always kept his word

Former President Bill Clinton described his relationship with Russian President Vladmir Putin as “brutally blunt,” and said Putin never reneged on a personal agreement between the two.

In an interview set to air on CNN’s Piers Morgan Live on Wednesday night, Clinton said that behind closed doors, Putin “kept his word in all the deals we made.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Those will be welcome words at the White House. Earlier this month, the Obama administration worked with the Russians to broker a diplomatic solution in Syria that helped avert a threatened U.S. strike against the Assad regime there.

However, Russia continues to support Assad, and some believe the agreement is merely a ploy by Putin to buy time for his allies in Syria.

Clinton on Wednesday said “we don’t have to believe” Russia’s commitment to ridding Assad of his weapons stockpiles. 

“No, we don’t have to believe it,” he said. “We just have to see what happens and make most of what happens. You work for the best and prepare for the worst in this business. But I think it would be a terrible mistake not to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Some believe Putin politically out-maneuvered Obama in the weeks leading up to the agreement by creating a scenario where the Russians rode in to prevent another U.S. military engagement in the Middle East.

“You know, look – Mr. Putin is very smart,” Clinton conceded.

“Smart and remarkably, um, we had a really good blunt relationship,” he said.

“Brutally blunt,” he added.